The Growth of Squash
Squash is categorized as “vine crops.” Maybe that is why people wonder, “can squash grow on a trellis?”. This plant can grow on your trellis if you ensure all of its needs are met. However, you need to understand a squash tree’s growth phase fully.
After planting (usually in the first week of spring), squash will go through a germination period. This period is marked by the appearance of sprouts from the strongest seedlings. Then, the vines will grow everywhere, even around the poles.
Approximately after six weeks of germination period, the male squash will grow. About a week later, the female squash grows, and the two will kick off the pollination.
Fruiting then occurs. Summer squash should be picked during the summer when it is still young, while winter squash should mature on the tree.
What Kind of Trellis That You Need?
Now that you have known the answer to “can squash grow on a trellis,” you can start preparing for the trellis. To decide which kind of trellis you will need for the gardening project, you must understand the squash characteristic.
Summer squash can grow on an average trellis, but you need something sturdier for winter squash.
Here are some types of trellis that are recommended for squash:
- Freestanding teepee trellis.
- Flat wall trellis.
- A-frame trellis.
- Garden obelisk.
- Conical tomato cage.
These trellis types are great because they have enough support for vertical growth. The trellis can be made of any sturdy material, such as PVC pipes, bamboo poles, and lattice wood planks.
You can put it against a structure for better structural integrity.
The Steps to Grow Squash on a Trellis
Are you up for the challenge of starting your vertical squash garden? What do you need to do to grow squash on a trellis? Here are the steps that you ought to follow:
- Choose the perfect spot where it will not overshadow other crops.
- Stake the trellis into the ground as deep as you can manage without damaging other structures.
- Plant the seeds with enough space for a growth room.
- Once the vines start growing, tie them to the trellis to direct their growth.
- Place mulch around the root to retain moisture and prevent weeds.
- Trim the ends of vines that are growing too tall.
- Add additional support if you think that the plant needs it.
Squash Varieties to Grow
When asking, “can squash be grown on a trellis?” you also consider the squash variety being grown. Some varieties are better than others for vertical gardening. Here are some recommended varieties if you want to use a trellis as the medium:
- Yellow summer squash.
- Delicata squash.
- Perennial squash.
- Acorn squash.
These squash varieties have a common characteristic: they are not harvested when the fruit becomes too heavy. It makes vertical gardening a viable growing option for them.
Usually, you will avoid heavier squash varieties like butternut squash. If your fruit is large, though, you can create a hammock for each fruit to provide additional support.
Nourishing the Vertically Grown Squash
Squash is considered a heavy feeder. It means that the plant requires rich nutrients to grow. If you use organic fertilizer during the seedling phase, you may need to add commercial fertilizer later.
The recommended fertilizer ratio for growing squash is 4-4-4. The ratio is balanced between nitrogen, phosphor, and potassium.
This ratio encourages the growth of stalks and leaves. It also helps the flowering and fruiting process of your squash.
Generally, you need two rounds of fertilizing for your squash. The first one is before you plant the seeds. This is done in the spring season after the last frost has disappeared.
The second round of fertilizer is applied when you see the first bloom. The rule is that you need 6 pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet. The plant needs watering after each round of fertilizer. Watering helps with nutrient absorption.
The Advantages of Growing Squash on a Trellis
It turns out that asking, “can squash grow on a trellis?” will benefit your squash garden if you follow through. The following are what you will gain with this planting system:
- Enhanced air circulation
Because the squash is planted vertically, the foliage will get more exposure to oxygen. Because of that, your squash can experience faster growth. Aeration also prevents fungal infection on the plant.
- Preventing the fruit from rotting
Squash can be very heavy as it grows that it sits on the ground and gathers moisture on its base. This excess moisture can cause the squash fruit to rot. By planting it vertically, you can prevent this.
- Increased exposure to sunlight
When planting the squash vertically, you also allow the squash to get more sunlight volume. Sunlight is crucial for the fruiting process. You will have more yield during the harvesting period.